Apparently, there was an algorithm update at the end of August that impacted the local results. It didn’t affect the non-local organic results. This update is what we dedicate the post of 411 Locals to.
Here is what changed:
Changes occurred in the way of work of the local filter. The history here is that Google actively filters listings from the local results, which look similar to listings that have already ranked. Google chooses the most relevant listing, filtering the rest. This is much like what they do with the duplicate content organically. (Note: Google usually does not confirm algorithm updates, but usually only says that it comes up with several updates every day. These observations, however, are based on the way local results have changed rather than on an official announcement or acknowledgement.)
This filter has existed for some time and helps to make sure the search results are not monopolized by several listings for the same company. In September last year, another update made a significant change to the way of work of this filter. It didn’t just filter listings with the same phone number or website but also listings physically located near one another.
This became extremely problematic for businesses as it meant that of two businesses that were in the same building or even one block apart, one could get filtered out of local search results. Meaning that the competition could inadvertently bump your listing.
In the end of August this year, the proximity of the filter was refined to make it stricter. It may still filter out companies in the same building, but not those that are close by.
Who benefited from this
If a business got filtered last September due to the fact they had a competitor down the street, now it is showing, thanks to the new update.
Businesses which are still filtered
Not everyone was able to benefit from this update. Even though it tightened the distance necessary to filter a similar listing, it didn’t fully remove it. There are still listings that share an address or building or that are around 50 feet away from a competitor and are filtered out of the local search results.
The Name of the New Algorithm
As already mentioned in this article, Google has not officially announced this update, but the local search community has chosen for it the name “Hawk.” Hawks eat possums, and the name that the update from September last year is known for is Possum. This is among the few times no negative outcomes are seen as a result of an update. It’s just that one year is a bit too long to come up with the realization that the proximity filter was way too broad.
411Locals always chooses the most interesting news from the world of SEO and presents them to you. We also keep up with all the latest updates to make our service better. If you want to see your small or medium-sized business on the first page of the search results of Google, feel free to call us today!